R. Gary Smith
Dr. R. Gary Smith appointed interim director of UNM Physical Plant.

The University is brimming with experts, and the Physical Plant Department’s (PPD) Dr. Gary Smith is no exception. Smith, associate director of PPD Environmental Services, was selected as a voting member of the National Sanitation Foundation’s (NSF) Joint Committee for the Prevention of Injury and Disease associated with building water systems.  

Smith was instrumental in implementing UNM’s Water Safety Program two years ago because of his knowledge and expertise in biological sciences and facilities management.

“It’s very satisfying that the work of our PPD staff with building water safety is being recognized by the international community." Smith said. "This appointment will enhance our standing as leaders in higher education facilities management and will allow me to make valuable contributions to the global community on building water safety and public health standards and processes."

NSF International is an “international, independent, not-for-profit, non-governmental organization that is dedicated to being the leading global provider of public health and safety-based risk management solutions while serving the interests of all stakeholders.” Smith will make important decisions about international standards, provide technical guidance to the NSF on related issues, all of which will impact the global community with regard to building water systems.

About two years ago, PPD decided it was time to integrate a HACCP (Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points) based water safety program with UNM’s water system, which includes testing, remediation, monitoring, and maintenance, of drinking fountains, water features, bathroom sinks, and cooling towers, to name a few. The reason behind this decision came from industry knowledge about potential harm to individuals who are exposed to waterborne and moisture-associated pathogens particular to large building water systems. 

“Hazards associated with building water systems such as microbial contamination, chemical contamination and physical hazards affects millions of people world-wide, and to be able to contribute to the well-being and safety of people through the work of NSF International, I think will be very gratifying," Smith said.